Shawnee High School celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday by hosting the first annual turkey trot at the school on Nov 23, an event that allowed costumed students to spend time together outside and participate in a friendly competition.
The Turkey Trot was organized and hosted by the school’s PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), a group formed last year to host events for Shawnee seniors during COVID and virtual learning. It is actively working toward becoming its own nonprofit.
The Turkey Trot was held outside during lunchtime on the Shawnee track to facilitate a relay of 11 student teams and one staff group. Instead of frozen turkeys for students to pass on to teammates during the relay, the PTO ordered pumpkins with turkey decorations. Students also competed in a costume competition and competed for a raffle prize by donating canned goods for a student council food drive .
PTO member Cindy Kelly addressed the importance of the Turkey Trot for students and faculty who were distanced by COVID, then encouraged by her organization to come together for the event this year.
“We also wanted to bring everybody together, and I think that’s the message too,” she said. “Bringing all the students together, having kids getting to know people they might not have normally met and just bringing people together for some fun activities.”
Kelly also has high hopes for next year’s Turkey Trot.
‘“In the future next year, we can plan it sooner, maybe partner with some other groups within the school to get more teams out, and make it even a bigger competition next year and build on it,” she noted.